We’ve made a list of movies you can enjoy and also learn a thing or two about the world of business.
In an hour or two, you can learn how Wall Street works, dive deep in the background stories of some of the most popular founders and investors (yes, Warren Buffet’s on the list), or discover that criminals are actually excellent at running a business.
There’s something for everyone. Pick a movie title you like and be prepared to question your current business principles and beliefs.
52 Best Movies for Entrepreneurs
1) Fyre Festival
Name of the movie: Fyre Festival
Description of the movie: Fyre is a documentary about a young entrepreneur and fraud named Billy McFarland, and his failed Fyre Festival in 2017. The festival was doomed from the beginning mainly due to bad planning and mismanagement of funds.
This movie is a good example that planning is the key to everything. But more importantly, it shows that in life, it’s not enough to have desire and passion to achieve something great - you need to work hard and smartly to succeed.
Released in: 2019
Related topics: Fyre serves as an example that presents the importance of planning and management. It can serve as a warning sign for all young entrepreneurs who fail to deliver the final product, despite the massive financial investments.
IMDB Rating: 7.2/10 from 34,714 votes
2) The Founder
Name of the movie: The Founder
Description of the movie: A biographical movie about McDonald’s rise as one of the biggest businesses in the gastronomy world. Salesman Ray Croc joined the McDonald’s brothers, stole their idea, and without ever paying them for their royalty, he took all the credit for the restaurant's expansion. The lesson - be careful who you get in bed with.
Released in: 2016
Related topics: The Founder is an inspiring story for entrepreneurs willing to create ‘the next big thing’. Although sometimes harsh and too ambitious, Ray Kroc managed to transform McDonald’s into the most popular fast-food chain restaurant.
IMDB Rating: 7.2/10 from 116,351 votes
3) Steve Jobs
Name of the movie: Steve Jobs
Description of the movie: This biopic on Apple's founder tells the behind-the-scenes story about the iconic entrepreneur and his struggles on the way to the top. Also, important shots from Steve’s personal life are shown as well as the obstacles he overcame to build the brand we all know.
Released in: 2015
Related topics: Steve Jobs revolves around Job’s ideas and the decisions he had to make in order to create Apple and take it to the top. Anyone can learn something from this movie, even if you have years of experience running a business. Taking a sneak-peek into Job’s mind can be educational and insightful, so give this movie a chance.
IMDB Rating: 7.2/10 from 149,991 votes
Name of the movie: Casino
Description of the movie: What are you willing to do to achieve your goals - that’s the question that will pop in your head once you watch this movie. Casino is an epic drama that follows the life of a gambler, working alongside the Mafia that manages a casino in Las Vegas. It’s a perfect representation of what greed, power, and money can do to a man and how thin is the line between leading a decent life and letting all of the above consume you and put you on the road to perdition.
Released in: 1995
Related topics: Casino picks on a topic that’s always sensitive in the business world - should you do business with your best friends or not? As it’s shown in the movie, that’s not always the smartest decision and things can go south pretty quickly.
IMDB Rating: 8.2/10 from 451,318 votes
5) The Social Network
Name of the movie: The Social Network
Description of the movie: The Social Network is the ultimate story about Facebook and its founder. It shows Mark Zuckerberg and the way he brought to life his idea of building a social media platform. Soon afterward, his project got substantial financial backing, and all of a sudden, Facebook was ‘live’ all around the world. However, it wasn’t all roses on Mark's journey - the movie also shows Mark’s struggles and lawsuits from his once-friend and first investor, Eduardo Saverin.
Released in: 2010
Related topics: Zuckerberg’s creative approach is fascinating to watch and analyze - you’ll feel like you’re in the middle of the technological world in Silicon Valley. The movie also shows that even large corporations often have small and struggling beginnings, and it can be quite inspiring for young entrepreneurs to see that for themselves.
IMDB Rating: 7.7/10 from 607,074
6) Glengarry Glen Ross
Name of the movie: Glengarry Glen Ross
Description of the movie: Based on the award-winning play by the same name, Glengarry Glen Ross is one of the most-watched business movies. It shows the life of four real estate agents and their problems while working under pressure for their new trainer. All four of them are forced to use their knowledge and expertise to overcome the current events and keep their job intact, during a difficult sales period.
Released in: 1992
Related topics: Glengarry Glen Ross is a perfect example that expresses the “hard sale” mastery and how to work in a high-pressure environment. This movie should be shown to anyone who likes to become a better seller as it teaches real-life salesmen on the right and the wrong way to sell.
IMDB Rating: 7.7/10 from 93,652 votes
7) Wall Street
Name of the movie: Wall Street
Description of the movie: Wall Street is all about greed and ambitions. The main protagonist gets carried away by the glamorous lifestyle until he gets caught in a dangerous web of inside trading.
Аs the name suggests, Wall Street is a clear representation of what some people are willing to do to get to the top.
Released in: 1987
Related topics: This film serves as a valuable lesson and a cautionary tale on how ambitions can affect the person and lead someone down to illegal paths. Despite all of this, entrepreneurs can learn some tricks of the trade, shared by the main protagonists.
IMDB Rating: 7.4/10 from 140,541 votes
8) Boiler Room
Name of the movie: Boiler Room
Description of the movie: If you wish to know the answer to the popular question “How do you earn big money from nothing”, then this movie is the right one. Boiler Room is based on Stratton Oakmont, a stock trading company created by Jordan Belfort. It shows the ambitions and decisions made by young future founders and their obsession to reach the top.
Released in: 2000
Related topics: Like many business movies, Boiler Room sends a warning to all people involved in business of any kind. You can easily be blinded by the lifestyle of the rich and famous, so stick to your moral code to avoid that. Aside from that, entrepreneurs can learn plenty of cold-calling tactics regarding sales.
IMDB Rating: 7.0/10 from 48,349 votes
9) The Pursuit of Happyness
Name of the movie: The Pursuit of Happyness
Description of the movie: The Pursuit of Happyness is a real story based on the life of a homeless salesman, Chris Gardner, and his son. Chris is offered an unpaid internship as a stockbroker, but his ambitions are bigger than that. The movie shows how he manages to become a millionaire in only one year and the sacrifices he and his son make in the pursuit of a better life.
Released in: 2006
Related topics: The Pursuit of Happyness is more than just an inspiring movie to watch - it reveals common challenges ambitious people face and what it takes to rise above one’s situation.
IMDB Rating: 8.0/10 from 436,173 votes
Name of the movie: Moneyball
Description of the movie: Moneyball tells the story about Billy Beane and his innovative approach to attracting new players in Oakland Athletics, with the team’s low budget in mind. Billy uses computer data analysis to acquire potential signings and manages to overcome his rivals from the MLB elite.
Released in: 2011
Related topics: Many startups face the same challenge as Billy did. It shows the scenario where every startup is facing obstacles in the open market while competing against established companies. The lesson from the movie is that everything can be achieved through a mixture of risk-taking and creativity - but only if you know what you’re doing.
IMDB Rating: 7.6/10 from 353,071 votes.
11) Jerry Maguire
Name of the movie: Jerry Maguire
Description of the movie: Sports agents have it hard going for them - they need to be pros at negotiating better deals for their clients, while also constantly searching for the next big thing. Jerry Maguire gives a very insightful perspective on what it takes to be a sports agent, but with an added twist - what to do when you get fired from your agency and decide to start over, this time with more dignity and righteousness?Excellent story for anyone in the middle of a business, personal, or any type of struggle - the movie has everything in it.
Released in: 1996
Related topics: There’s more to life than just making money - it’s about building your life from scratch! If you’re an entrepreneur who has found himself a bit trapped in the money world, without any nourishment for your soul, this movie will be an eye-opener.
IMDB Rating: 7.3/10 from 237,666 votes
12) Pirates of Silicon Valley
Name of the movie: Pirates of Silicon Valley
Description of the movie: You’re probably reading this article from a Windows or Mac computer - that’s the size of the influence of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. This movie is about their work, their brilliant minds, the challenges they faced, and the betrayals they encountered in the business world. It’s one of the best business movies to learn how to think like an innovator, but also how to protect your ideas from business sharks. Also, if you’re a tech-geek, you’ll love this movie.
Released in: 1997
Related topics: Any founder-to-be can learn so much from this movie. Starting from the enthusiastic young innovators and the sacrifices they made to achieve their goals, all the way to developing the mindset of a businessman and how sometimes things won’t go as planned. Also, if you want to know how great minds are built from a young age, this is the movie for you.
IMDB Rating: 7.3/10 from 23,345 votes
Name of the movie: Startup.com
Description of the movie: Sometimes described as one of the most heart-wrenching movies for entrepreneurs, Startup.com tells the story of the rise and fall of one dot-com company. Two high-school friends merge business ideas only to find out that building a company when the Internet was a new thing, wasn’t easy at all. If you watch it carefully, Startup.com can turn out to be the lesson for every entrepreneur - think twice before going into business with someone you know, and don’t trust the crowd - trust your instincts.
Released in: 2001
Related topics: The one thing to take from Startup.com is the effect money, greed and power can have on relationships. The movie goes into full detail on whether material ownership is all that matters in the end, even if you lose the one friend who stayed beside you all the time. It’s an emotional roller-coaster that will make you think back on your business decisions, but also analyze your priorities as an entrepreneur.
IMDB Rating: 7.0/10 from 3,253 votes
14) The Wolf of Wall Street
Name of the movie: The Wolf of Wall Street
Description of the movie: The Wolf Of Wall Street is one of those entrepreneur movies that will keep you glued to the screen. What’s a better way to learn about business mistakes to avoid than watching the catastrophic mistakes Jordan Belfort did? This movie is based on his real-life story and how from a promising broker, he got himself into the world of too many drugs, too many lies, and a devastating feud with US authorities. Of course, the success he had is not excluded, but ultimately, he was remembered for the wrongdoings, proving once again that business choices can define your life, so always choose carefully.
Released in: 2013
Related topics: Perhaps one of the most exciting moments in the movie is the cold-calling process. It’s shown with passion, dedication, and belief in the great idea. Also, keeping your employees satisfied by doing whatever makes them happy is another lesson you can take from this movie - but set some boundaries, otherwise, you may dig yourself a hole you won’t be able to get out of, just like Belfort.
IMDB Rating: 8.2/10 from 1,137,086 votes
15) The Big Short
Name of the movie: The Big Short
Description of the movie: What happens when one man finds out about the housing market crash before it even occurs? He wouldn’t dare to use that for personal profit... or would he?
If you like dramatic business movies, this one is a must-watch. This Oscar winner is about the story of the 2007 financial crisis in a way you wouldn’t expect. As an entrepreneur, you’ll have even more fun watching it - it’s every bit intriguing, and educational at the same time. As a future founder, that should be the part that will catch your eye the most.
Released in: 2015
Related topics: Everything you’ll hear in this movie is legit as it gets, especially the economic terms. It would be like finding out what happens in Wall Street before you make any investment, and as a future investor and entrepreneur, you should be familiar with these things before spinning a dime in the stock market.
IMDB Rating: 7.8/10 from 347,373 votes
16) The Aviator
Name of the movie: The Aviator
Description of the movie: Being a genius is by no means easy, and this movie portrays that as clearly as possible. The movie is based on the story of Howard Hughes, the American business magnate, pilot, and filmmaker who loved to take risks during his lifetime. The Aviator tells the story of a businessman who has trouble finding meaning in life beyond money and business opportunities while struggling to keep his mental health in check.
This business movie is not just about making smart or risky business decisions - it’s about how our mental health can affect and in some cases even define our success, or even failure. It's an excellent way to learn more about how to deal with it if you ever find yourself struggling with personal matters.
Released in: 2004
Related topics: As an entrepreneur, it’s important to recognize which business decisions are smart, and which ones are just foolish. In this movie, that’s presented in a way that will make you rethink your current decisions. Some ideas, as crazy or undoable as they might seem at first, might turn out to be a jackpot - the only way to bring these to fruition is to have an unwavering belief in them.
IMDB Rating: 7.5/10 from 326,364 votes
17) Margin Call
Name of the movie: Margin Call
Description of the movie: Margin Call is created in a way that shows the other side of the business world - the psychological one. Specifically, this movie is about the early days of the 2008 financial crisis, but its focus is on the psychological consequences of the people involved in the crisis rather than the financial one. The action takes place in a 24 hour period where things start to crumble in one finance company and everyone is trying to make the best of it.
Released in: 2011
Related topics: Margin Call is excellent for entrepreneurs who are not interested in complex economic or financial terms, but rather the mindset. The writing is light and understandable for anyone. Aside from that, this business movie is every bit great at showing the psychological drama brokers went through during the 2008 crisis. As future businessmen, it’s important you acknowledge the stress a job can cause, and do some changes to prevent that from happening. Also, keep in mind that your decision can affect more people than just your employees.
Description of the movie: Don’t let the title mislead you – this movie is not about smoking. Well, not entirely. Nick Naylor, the main character and CEO of a tobacco company, has a challenge in front of him – how to make cigarettes more popular even though the health industry doesn’t recommend them, and raise a preteen son while doing so?
Thank You For Smoking has all the pinpoints of the challenges entrepreneurs face: personal beliefs, market demand, and family relationships – how to keep everyone happy and not lose a dime.
Released in: 2005
Related topics: Thank You For Smoking answers the ancient question every entrepreneur has at one point in life - how is my business in accordance with my personal beliefs? Do I still believe in the good side of my business or I’ve lost it somewhere along the way? As entrepreneurs, you’re sometimes too busy or too deep into it, that you might lose sight of the bigger picture - this movie will help you visualize it.
IMDB Rating: 7.6/10 from 210,969 votes
Name of the movie: Joy
Description of the movie: It can’t be easy watching everyone around you becoming more and more successful – and some of them with your ideas? That’s what happened to Joy, a divorced mother of two who was creative and capable enough to have a business of her own but somehow lacks the courage to actually get out and start it. On her rise to success, she faces many obstacles – both business and personal, but she never gave up on her dream of becoming an inventor.
Released in: 2015
Related topics: It’s quite an inspirational story for every entrepreneur, but it’s particularly beneficial for women. It shows how persistence and determination can help you make it despite a financial crisis crippling the market, and how personal struggles won’t stop you on your way to the top if you stand your ground and believe in your ideas 100%. It’s a super motivational story, excellent to lift your spirits!
IMDB Rating: 6.6/10 from 125,258 votes
20) The Devil Wears Prada
Name of the movie: The Devil Wears Prada
Description of the movie: The Devil Wears Prada is the representation of the saying the means justify the ends. How far would some people go to reach the stars is the main storyline, presented to you by the CEO of a top-rated magazine and a small-town girl who finds herself in the middle of an unforgiving, highly-competitive working environment.
This movie represents another way of leadership – cold-blooded, ruthless, and devoid of emotions. The effects of this leadership style are shown all the time on the screen - a not-so-healthy way to handle your employees.
Released in: 2006
Related topics: It’s definitely one of those business movies every founder-to-be should watch. Specifically, because it elaborates on topics such as the morality of choices in both professional and personal life. The effects a job has on employees’ personal lives, and how stepping over everyone can be devastating, especially if you’re the CEO.
IMDB Rating: 6.9/10 from 361,426 votes
21) Becoming Warren Buffett
Name of the movie: Becoming Warren Buffett
Description of the movie: If you want to get a taste of the mind of one of the most brilliant businessmen ever, Becoming Warren Buffet is the right movie choice for you. He’s one of the wealthiest men on Earth, but at the same time, he kept his humble spirit. How someone of his size, both intellectual and financial, hasn’t lost sight of reality and kept himself accountable, is a lesson you can learn while watching this movie.
The movie unravels the story of how the mindset of an innovator is built from a very young age. It’s truly one of the most inspiring stories to ever meet the big screen, one that will definitely challenge your beliefs and moral core.
Released in: 2017
Related topics: One of the most important lessons you can learn from this movie is what to do with yourself once the money stops being an issue – how to find life goals and objectives unrelated to making more money, but focus on becoming a better human being? Buffet speaks a lot about his view and his philosophy on life, so make sure to catch something of that for you.
IMDB Rating: 7.6/10 from 3,180 votes
22) “American Experience” - Henry Ford
Name of the movie: “American Experience”- Henry Ford
Description of the movie: If you’ve been fascinated by innovators and their creative minds, you’ll love this American Experience episode, dedicated to one of the greatest innovators of 20th century - Henry Ford. This business movie tells the ultimate rags-to-riches story, Henry’s life. You’ll witness the immeasurable dedication, persistence, and ahead-of-his-time thinking that can become a source of motivation for anyone.
Released in: 2013
Related topics: One thing that you can definitely take from this movie is the consequences you’ll face from your own decisions, and whether you can live with them in the long-term or not. Some of the innovations Henry put in the company deeply troubled him and that had a rather negative effect on his health and professionalism.
IMDB Rating: 7.8/10 from 183 votes
23) Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Name of the movie: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Description of the movie: Although the sequel of Wall Street didn’t get the raving reviews as the first movie, it still offers a valuable lesson about the business world. Gekko, the main character, is once again at the center of the attention, but this time he tries to rebuild his company and fortune – alongside his future son-in-law. He uses some not-so-conventional and morally wrong methods to fight his rivals and enemies and with his history, that may turn out to be a big mistake.
Released in: 2010
Related topics: How past bad business decisions can turn out to be problematic, even if you're a changed man – that’s the main thing you’ll learn from this movie. But on the other side, another question arises - do people really change or adapt a certain shape the way it suits them or not? You’ll have time to think about these while watching the movie.
IMDB Rating: 6.2/10 from 96,806 votes
24) The Secret of My Success
Name of the movie: The Secret Of My Success
Description of the movie: If you like the taste of corporate America, this movie is like a fine piece of beef. It’s a comedy movie that sheds light on the business life leaders live. The main storyline is about a character who wants to taste the big life in New York but will be faced with multiple obstacles along the way. It’s relaxing but at the same time enjoyable and fun to watch, with a pinch of background stories from the ones who are at the top of a company.
Released in: 1987
Related topics: One thing to take from this movie? It’s basically about becoming successful without working hard – but working smart.
IMDB Rating: 6.5/10 from 28,860 votes
25) The Corporation
Name of the movie: The Corporation
Description of the movie: The Corporation is not unlike any of the other business movies on this list. It elaborates on a topic like no movie before – what would happen if corporations were people, do they know how to make the difference between the good and the bad? For starters, it’s a documentary on corporate America. The movie shows the other side of the business world, the one that’s much darker and not at all fun to watch nor live – but it’s here to stay. Multiple big-shots have a chance to tell their side of the story in front of the camera and some of them might grow on you. But the question remains – are we living as full consumers or the big companies made us one?
Released in: 2003
Related topics: The corporate world is presented as a psychopathic character – selfish, ruthless, and run only by the desire to have more of everything – possessions, money, resources, power. It’s an excellent movie to think about the influence of capitalism on today’s corporate values, but it’s also great to question your beliefs.
IMDB Rating: 8.1/10 from 20,211 votes.
26) Catch Me If You Can
Name of the movie: Catch Me If You Can
Description of the movie: Based on a true story, this movie represents the high-class conworld, brought to you by Frank Abegnail himself, one of the most popular con men in history. Of course, we don’t support any illegal activities for gaining profit. The reason we have this movie on our list is the skill set Frank has to achieve his goals – imagine if he was an honest man with that set of skills – charismatic, good with numbers and an eye for details, exceptional negotiation skills, and a personality that can blend anywhere. Those are skills any entrepreneur should aim to have.
Released in: 2002
Related topics: Every decision you make as a future entrepreneur will have consequences on you, your company, your employees – even your personal life. That’s why it’s always better to think twice before making your final decision. That’s what Frank missed to do and that ultimately, got him behind bars.
IMDB Rating: 8.1/10 from 796,971 votes
27) Flash of Genius
Name of the movie: Flash of Genius
Description of the movie: If you want to watch a movie where you can root for the good guy, Flash of Genius is an excellent choice. Inspired by the real-life story of Robert Kearns, a college professor who invents the windshield wiper. However, he’s not aware of what the big-shot auto companies have prepared for him and if he wants to stay on top of his game, he needs to build a thick skin and not let anyone step on him.
Released in: 2008
Related topics: There are two crucial things you can take from this movie: one is the mindset of the big sharks. The other one is the persistence of the honest man and the way he’ll defend himself. No one should come and tell you that you don’t deserve something you’ve worked for – even if that someone is Ford.
IMDB Rating: 7.0/10 from 16,334 votes
28) Office Space
Name of the movie: Office Space
Description of the movie: Office Space is a great example of rebel employees who are not satisfied with the job or with their boss’ attitude, so they decide to take matters into their own hands. The story, although said in a funny way, elaborates on important topics in the workplace. The most important one is leaders’ communication style and employee’s dedication to set things straight, even if that means using a less-ethical way to prove a point.
Released in: 1999
Related topics: If you want to get a glimpse of the mindset of an unhappy employee, this is a movie for you. As entrepreneurs, keeping your workers happy should be one of the top priorities. Unless you want that to backfire to you like it’s the case in this business movie.
IMDB Rating: 7.7/10 from 237,261 votes
29) The Godfather Trilogy
Name of the movie: The Godfather Trilogy
Description of the movie: Considered as one of the best movies of all time, The Godfather trilogy is not just one-of-a-kind stories – it’s the epitome of the rise and fall of an entire empire. Despite being a crime movie, The Godfather trilogy is the perfect example of versatile human behavior and the consequences of it on business. Everything in life is negotiation, one way or the other, and this movie does an impeccable job to show that on-screen.
Besides being a masterpiece, this movie is an absolute must for everyone, but even more so if you’re on the verge to start your own business.
Released in: 1972, 1974 and 1990
Related topics: As one of the most famous movie quotes is “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse”, you can learn a lot about negotiation from the movie, along with other things like staying true to yourself and keeping your business and personal reputation at the highest level.
IMDB Rating: 9.2/10, 9.0/10, 7.6/10.
30) Rogue Trader
Name of the movie: Rogue Trader
Description of the movie: Is there such a thing as too much ambition? For the stockbroker Nick Leeson, the main character in this movie, this was the harsh reality. The story becomes even more demoralizing as Nick gains a precious career opportunity that unfortunately, he takes full advantage of and makes risky investments. Rogue Trader is the ultimate movie that shows the devastating effect of bad business decisions on both the company and the person itself.
Released in: 1999
Related topics: No entrepreneur could become successful if there’s a lack of ambitions. However, knowing when to stop is a good sign of a rational mindset. You can learn a lot on how to avoid making business decisions that will backfire at some point, which may even put you to prison.
IMDB Rating: 6.4/10 from 9,237 votes
31) Lord Of War
Name of the movie: Lord Of War
Description of the movie: Business and pleasure don’t mix – that’s unless you’re Yuri Orlov, a famous fictional arms dealer. You may find yourself rooting for him in the movie, even though he’s the bad guy. His rags-to-riches story may be one of the reasons for it, alongside with the human inability to fight the system. It’s an entertaining movie, despite telling a story that turns dark rather quickly.
Released in: 2005
Related topics: The movie puts on display the moral code a businessman has – or what’s left of them in the chase for more money and power. Lord of War does a great job answering the ancient question – is your business in line with your ethical principles? Every business owner has found themselves in such a dilemma at one point or another and what’s important is to make the right choice – not only for yourself but also for your closest ones.
IMDB Rating: 7.6/10 from 289,449 votes
32) Something Ventured
Name of the movie: Something Ventured
Description of the movie: Something Ventured tells the story of investors from the mid-20th century. It’s a documentary that includes interviews with prominent American venture capitalists from the 60s, 70s, and 80s, most of which are the founders of companies like Apple, Intel, Cisco, etc. The movie shows actual footage and conversations and uncovers the background stories, shedding a light on how some of these popular companies managed to scale and expand.
Released in: 2011
Related topics: In an hour and a half, you’ll see how a handful of men managed to create a stable foundation and build companies from scratch, companies that will soon rule the world of business and technology. Also, the audience is not spared from the juicy details and the misunderstanding between investors – there were a lot of ups and downs and you’ll get them all - first hand!
IMDB Rating: 7.0/10 from 678 votes
33) Two for the Money
Name of the movie: Two for the Money
Description of the movie: A former football player whose exceptional at sports-betting gets noticed by one smart man in the sports consulting industry and receives an offer that’s hard to decline. However, once the money starts rolling in and the greed starts rising up, it’s a downward spiral all the way. Two For The Money is an enjoyable movie that shows the dark side of betting, but also the consequences of poor business decisions mixed with greed.
Released in: 2005
Related topics: Proficient communication skills are key for any founder-to-be and here Brandon’s smooth-talking skills can teach you a lot. This movie does an excellent job of showing what personal follies can do for your business and makes you think of the good old saying: once the money starts pouring in, do we know when enough is enough?
IMDB Rating: 6.3/10 from 42,725 votes
The All-In-One Newsletter for Startup Founders
Every week, I’ll send you Failory’s latest content, curated resources, and updates on how I’m growing the site to $10k/mo. Join +7,000 other startup founders!
34) Erin Brockovich
Name of the movie: Erin Brockovich
Description of the movie: Based on a true story, this movie is the epitome of encouragement and persistence – and we all lack that sometimes don’t we? Erin Brockovich has no experience or knowledge to work in the law industry, but she has motivation like no one else – and three mouths to feed. What will start off as a simple rags-to-riches story will turn out as a battle against one corporation that’s slowly destroying the lives of citizens of Hinkley, California.
Released in: 2000
Related topics: Watching this movie is like listening to a Rocky theme song while running – it will make you chant in front of the TV for Erin. Plus, as most of the entrepreneurs fight for the little guy, you’ll recognize the same drive in this movie too. It’s always good to remind yourselves that seeing the big picture can be beneficial for everyone, and you may even help someone along the way.
IMDB Rating: 7.3/10 from 170,257 votes
35) Any Given Sunday
Name of the movie: Any Given Sunday
Description of the movie: Any Given Sunday it’s not just an average sports drama – it’s a two and a half hours long school on life. The passion, enthusiasm, and desire to continue to fight even when the odds are against you is the main storyline of this movie. More than that, Any Given Sunday is about proper team management when there’s multiple different characters, personalities and set of skills. It may not be a classic business movie, but the resemblance is uncanny.
Released in: 1999
Related topics: Money makes the world go round, whether we like that or not. But, more important than that, is to stay humble to your closest people - that’s the thing you’ll remember from this movie. The best way to become a better leader is to become more empathetic and you’ll see a lot of those moments in this movie.
IMDB Rating: 6.9/10 from 110,488 votes
Name of the movie: Rocky
Description of the movie: Rocky tells the story of an underdog boxer, a nobody, who then manages to overcome the obstacles and becomes “somebody”. Rocky decides to make his own opportunities and work extremely hard to achieve his goal, to become a world champion one day.
Released in: 1976
Related topics: The movie serves as a fountain of motivation. You will learn that motivation is key, especially in the entrepreneur world. You should work hard and be dedicated to your surroundings, and to handle all problems coming your way.
IMDB Rating: 8.1/10 from 505,054 votes
Name of the movie: Guru
Description of the movie: As one of the best movies that came out from India, Guru shows the story of one villager struggles in the streets of Bombay, to his exponential rise as India’s biggest tycoon. The protagonist, Gurukant Desai decides to run a business of his own and dreams to make it on the “big stage” through cloth trading with his brother and wife.
Released in: 2007
Related topics: Guru sends a powerful message to all investors and founders out there. You must never stop dreaming because clearly, dreams do come true. You can take two main points from this film: hard work pays off, and so does wielding an iron will.
IMDB Rating: 7.7/10 from 21,473 votes
Name of the movie: e-Dreams
Description of the movie: This is the story about the popular internet-delivery service Kozmo.com, and its collapse due to the dot-com bust and the stock market correction in 2000. Two young entrepreneurs had a unique idea about an online convenience store and to their surprise, it turned out to be the perfect one.
In this movie, you’ll see what happens when there’s a lack of a business plan, weak management, and the outcome of the e-commerce explosion in the late ’90s.
Released in: 2001
Related topics: e-Dreams can be a great lesson for all young entrepreneurs out there. You must implement precise business plans, keep an eye on the stock market, and micro-manage all aspects of your business if you want to succeed.
IMDB Rating: 6.9/10 from 265 votes
39) Generation Startup
Name of the movie: Generation Startup
Description of the movie: Generation Startup follows the journey of 6 college students willing to put everything on the line in order to develop startups in Detroit. This movie shows us the frontlines of entrepreneurship in America, presents us with all it takes to launch a startup, and the potential outcomes.
Released in: 2016
Related topics: There is a reason why this movie found its place on our list. Younger entrepreneurs can take valuable notes and see that planning a startup from scratch is an arduous task. The actors are strongly determined to reach the top through hard work and creative ideas, encouraging the audience to do the same.
IMDB Rating: 6.5/10 from 84 votes
40) The Startup Kids
Name of the movie: The Startup Kids
Description of the movie: The Startup Kids is a documentary about young web entrepreneurs from around the world. The founders of Vimeo, Soundcloud, Dropbox, and more talk about what it takes to create a start-up, and the ugly side of the business world. On the other hand, important people from the tech scene share their experience working with young entrepreneurs with brilliant, life-changing ideas.
Released in: 2012
Related topics: It should go without saying how helpful this documentary would be. It’s filled with inspirational stories from young entrepreneurs who share the challenges they have had to face before becoming CEOs of successful startups.
IMDB Rating: 6.7/10 from 622 votes
41) The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard
Name of the movie: The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard
Description of the movie: The storyline goes like this: a failing car dealership and its employees help a used car liquidator Don and his team to sell over 200 cars for the 4th of July. Through various marketing gimmicks and cheap tricks, Don tries to achieve the goal, however, his dishonest tactics prove fruitless. In the end, they do achieve the goal, but not before Don learns a valuable lesson on team play.
Released in: 2009
Related topics: The underlying theme of the movie is indeed the power of teamwork, a lesson even the main character needed to learn. It’s not baseless when they say that teamwork makes the dream work because a good team can go a very long way. With a good and strong team around you, the sky’s the limit.
IMDB Rating: 5.8/10 from 20,513 votes
42) The Call of the Entrepreneur
Name of the movie: The Call of the Entrepreneur
Description of the movie: A documentary that explores the competing stories of a struggling dairy farmer, a merchant banker, and a refugee from China. They each discuss their journey into the entrepreneurial world and how they took major risks. Besides the three main storytellers, there are interviews from experts in the field of economics, who explore how entrepreneurs shape and change the world.
Released in: 2007
Related topics: If you are in need of something to lift your spirits up, take a look at this documentary. The struggling dairy farmer now owns a million dollars composting company and the Chinese refugee owns a retail outlet and a news agency. This should give you a different outlook on entrepreneurship, and teach you one of the most important things in business - sometimes things get worse before they get better.
IMDB Rating: 7.3/10 from 34 votes
Name of the movie: August
Description of the movie: It’s not easy to run a business and have a fulfilling social life, but Tom seems to balance it pretty well. That’s until things start to crumble, clients start to stall and the company starts to lose money. Once you’re down, the cost of getting up is much higher and this movie’s storyline covers that in detail.
Released in: 2008
Related topics: August is ‘a fall from grace’ movie, a perfect example of how failed planning, a false sense of power, freedom, and money can do to a man. You might question your own beliefs as an entrepreneur once you see Tom’s somewhat immoral acts.
IMDB Rating: 5.3/10 from 4,008 votes
44) Coach Carter
Name of the movie: Coach Carter
Description of the movie: Don’t let the high-school storyline mislead you – there’s more to this movie than the regular, rebellious, 18-years-old youngsters. This sports drama is the perfect example of what the right person, at the right time, with the right resources, can do of an almost failed college basketball team. The impeccable leadership skills coach Carter shows will discipline even the most rebellious team members.
Released in: 2005
Related topics: More important than success is building long-lasting relationships with people, whether those are current or potential employees, or even regular basketball players. Doing the right thing is more important than conquering awards and this movie does an excellent job of reminding everyone about the value of it.
IMDB Rating: 7.3/10 from 123,262 votes
45) A Beautiful Mind
Name of the movie: A Beautiful Mind
Description of the movie: The storyline in A Beautiful Mind touches multiple pinpoints, it’s hard to pick just one. An absolutely brilliant movie, with an even better story – a mathematical genius who accepts a job that will tear his life apart. It’s a bit different from the rest of the movies on our list, but it’s worth watching.
Released in: 2001
Related topics: A Beautiful Mind will show you a side of the mind of a genius, and you’ll get to see how his entire life revolves around it. One poor decision and it can all go down the drain, even though in John’s case, it’s much more complex than that.
IMDB Rating: 8.2/10 from 825,509 votes
46) The Blind Side
Name of the movie: The Blind Side
Description of the movie: Another sports drama based on a true story. The Blind Side is a movie that shows the human side of successful people. More often than not, rich people are seen as bad in society, but there are those who want to do good. This is a story about a woman who takes a young man under her wing, and tries to make him not only a top student and baseball player out of him but a better human being.
Released in: 2009
Related topics: The Blind Side is a great reminder that no one succeeds alone in this world. Everyone needs help from time to time, and even though many entrepreneurs think that they can do everything alone, asking for help doesn’t mean defeat or failure. If you have the right people around you, success is the last thing you’ll achieve – becoming a better human being first, successful entrepreneur last.
IMDB Rating: 7.6/10 from 285,259 votes
47) American Hustle
Name of the movie: American Hustle
Description of the movie: Inspired by a true story in the late 70s, American Hustle is a crime story that will keep you attentive from start to finish. A divergent movie that picks on multiple topics, the story is conveyed through vibrant humor, delivering a lesson worth its weight in gold. American Hustle is about the consequences of past mistakes and the price any one of the movie’s characters needs to pay to rectify them.
Released in: 2013
Related topics: All things aside, American Hustle is a great movie that focuses on the importance of loyalty in business – even if it's an illegal one. Of course, just like any other crime movie on the list, we don’t support this kind of behavior – but there’s a lot to learn about loyalty, staying true to yourself, and keeping your word.
IMDB Rating: 7.2/10 from 439,649 votes
Name of the movie: Limitless
Description of the movie: A movie that’s as much about science as it is about business, Limitless portrays the story of Edward Mora, a struggling writer who gets his hands on a brain-enhancing drug. We see his exploits under the influence of the drug, both the good and the bad ones. The movie is centered around our responsibility to be better people when we have the edge over our competition and others in need.
Released in: 2011
Related topics: What if we use 100% of our brains? This movie portrays the good and the bad side of this phenomenon. It’s a good movie choice to provoke people to think about what kind of person and businessman they would like to be.
IMDB Rating: 7.4/10 from 518,181 votes
Name of the movie: Invictus
Description of the movie: Having spent nearly 26 years in prison, Nelson Mandela is released in what would soon be the end of the apartheid in South Africa. After being elected president, he vows to unite the divided country for which he employs the help of Afrikaaner Francois Pienaar, the captain of the National Rugby team.
An inspiring movie based on the true story of Nelson Mandela, where we see the unification of an apartheid-torn nation through unconventional means: a win at the 1995 World Rugby Championship.
Released in: 2009
Related topics: Even though it’s a biographical sports drama and it might not be the most obvious choice for an entrepreneurship movie, there’s much to be learned from Invictus. For instance, the unconventional approach that Mandela takes and his leadership style by example. Skills and luck are important for a business to prosper, but unity and dedication to the cause can get it to the very top.
IMDB Rating: 7.3/10 from 147,308 votes
Name of the movie: Goodfellas
Description of the movie: The Goodfellas is a movie about Henry Hill, a man who tells the story of how he had wanted to become a gangster since he was a child. Together with Tommy, they are groomed by the local mob capo Paulie and his associate Jimmy Conway to become part of the Lucchese crime family. The first rules Jimmy lays on Henry, loyalty and trust, are the ones he ends up breaking.
Released in: 1990
Related topics: Goodfellas talks about a very important quality all business associates or even employees should possess: loyalty. It shows how important it is to have loyal and trustworthy people around you when building and expanding a business. As this movie shows, one wrong move and the whole business falls apart like a house of cards.
IMDB Rating: 8.7/10 from 989,705 votes
51) Donnie Brasco
Name of the movie: Donnie Brasco
Description of the movie: Donnie Brasco tells the true story of an FBI agent, Joe Pistone who infiltrates the local mob after being taken under the wing of Lefty Ruggiero. They become extremely close as the lines between Joe’s real and mob life get blurred. As the mob catches wind of a possible rat, Donnie’s time is almost up. But he’s faced with the tough decision with dire consequences. His friend Lefty who trusted in him blindly might be killed off if he brings him in, and Donnie would be the one to put the final nail in his coffin.
Released in: 1997
Related topics: As with almost all mob movies, how to stay loyal is the most valuable lesson to be learned here and it’s the, perhaps, most important one. Trusting someone blindly could be the downfall of a business so it’s always important to surround yourself with loyal and trustworthy people.
IMDB Rating: 7.7/10 from 271,468 votes
52) Billionaire Boys Club
Name of the movie: Billionaire Boys Club
Description of the movie: Led by their friend Joe Hunt, a group of wealthy young men in 1980s Los Angeles come up with a plan to get-rich-quick with a Ponzi scheme. The plan ends badly for all involved when Hunt and Jim Pittman end up murdering investor and con man Ron Levin.
Released in: 2018
Related topics: Billionaire Boys Club is not an exception about how bad a Ponzi scheme might end. Those get-rich-quick methods are never worth it and you should not get involved in one of them.
IMDB Rating: 5.6/10 from 11,557 votes
So, how do you like our list?
We tried to make it as more comprehensive and complete as possible. Plus, we wanted to include something for everyone – from drama to crime movies all the way to regular business genres and Wall Street storyline.
It’s not easy to be a CEO – it’s even harder to be a skillful CEO!
That’s why you should aim to become better any way possible and watching business movies can be the easiest way to do it!
Pick any movie you like, prepare your popcorn and choose any movie you like from the list!
Please, let us know if we missed your favorite one – we’re always ready to update the list!